The new Scam Ad Alert system is created in partnership with major digital advertisers and social media platforms.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Action Fraud, in 2018-2019 victims of crypto and forex investment scams lost over £27 million.
Scams cause both harm to the shoppers leaving them out of pocket but also damages the credibility of the advertising industry.
The Scam Ad Alert system will help alert platforms and publishers about online paid-for scam ads that use false stories, fake images of celebrity endorsement and misleading content.
Consumers that come across scam ads can report them and send an alert to all participating platforms and publishers with the details of the ads. Once notified, they can remove the ad and suspend the advertisers account.
A quick reporting form will also be made available to consumers to help draw attention to paid-for scam ads.
Guy Parker, ASA chief executive said: “The overwhelming majority of ads responsibly inform and entertain their audience, but a small minority are published with criminal intent. Our Scam Ad Alert system will play an important part in helping detect and disrupt these types of scams. By working closely with our partners such as Google and Facebook we can act quickly to have problem ads taken down as part of our ongoing work to better protect consumers online.”
Jon Mew, CEO, IAB UK added: “While there is no silver bullet solution to combatting scam ads, the launch of the ASA’s new system – in collaboration with a number of our members – is a significant step towards helping tackle the issue and shows what can be achieved at a cross-industry level. This initiative takes a joined-up approach to remove scam ads and will play an important role in improving the online ecosystem for both advertisers and consumers. It needs to be utilised alongside law enforcement to address the underlying illegitimate activity behind these ads.”
This latest move is part of an ongoing effort by ASA and many others to help better protect consumers and the credibility of the advertising industry.